Service & Results.

nyc criminal lawyers over 30 years of experienceWe Know How To Win Cases

Spodek Law Group handles tough cases
nationwide, that demand excellence.

Get Free Consultation

Faced 5+ Years in Prison

People Vs Joseph Amico

Covered by NYDaily News. Las Vegas man accused of threatening a prominent attorney and making vile remarks.

Faced 10+ Years in Prison

People Vs. Anna Sorokin

Covered by New York Times, and other outlets. Fake heiress accused of conning the city’s wealthy, and has an HBO special being made about her.

Faced 3+ Years in Prison

People Vs. Genevieve Sabourin

Accused of stalking Alec Baldwin. The case garnered nationwide attention, with USAToday, NYPost, and other media outlets following it closely.

Faced Potential Charges

Ghislaine Maxwell Juror

Juror who prompted calls for new Ghislaine Maxwell trial turns to lawyer who defended Anna Sorokin.

Why Choose Us

Clients can use our portal to track the status of their case, stay in touch with us, upload documents, and more.

Regardless of the type of situation you're facing, our attorneys are here to help you get quality representation.

We can setup consultations in person, over Zoom, or over the phone to help you. Bottom line, we're here to help you win your case.

Law in the Media

View All

Meet Todd Spodek


The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

Todd Spodek is a second generation attorney with immense experience. He has many years of experience handling 100’s of tough and hard to win trials. He’s been featured on major news outlets, such as New York Post, Newsweek, Fox 5 New York, South China Morning Post, Insider.com, and many others.

In 2022, Netflix released a series about one of Todd’s clients: Anna Delvey/Anna Sorokin.

Why Clients Choose Spodek Law Group

The reason is simple: clients want white glove service, and lawyers who can win. Every single client who works with the Spodek Law Group is aware that the attorney they hire could drastically change the outcome of their case. Hiring the Spodek Law Group means you’re taking your future seriously. Our lawyers handle cases nationwide, ranging from NYC to LA. Our philosophy is fair and simple: our nyc criminal lawyers only take on clients who we know will benefit from our services.

We’re selective about the clients we work with, and only take on cases we know align with our experience – and where we can make a difference. This is different from other law firms who are not invested in your success nor care about your outcome.

If you have a legal issue, call us for a consultation.
We are available 24/7, to help you with any – and all, challenges you face.

How much jail time can I get for a first-time DUI?

By Spodek Law Group | October 16, 2023
(Last Updated On: October 17, 2023)

Last Updated on: 17th October 2023, 06:18 pm


How Much Jail Time Can I Get for a First-Time DUI?

Getting arrested for a DUI can be scary, especially if it’s your first offense. You’re probably wondering how much jail time you might be facing. The answer depends on a lot of factors, but generally for a first DUI conviction, jail time can range from a few days to several months. I’ll walk you through the typical penalties and sentences so you know what to expect.

DUI Penalties by State

DUI laws and punishments vary quite a bit from state to state. Some states have mandatory minimum jail sentences for first-time offenders, while others leave it up to the judge’s discretion. Here’s a quick rundown of the range of typical penalties:

  • Alaska – Up to 1 year in jail
  • Arizona – Up to 10 days in jail
  • California – Up to 6 months in jail
  • Colorado – Up to 1 year in jail
  • Florida – Up to 6 months in jail
  • Illinois – Up to 1 year in jail
  • New York – Up to 1 year in jail
  • Texas – Up to 180 days in jail

As you can see, jail time can vary significantly depending on the state. Even within the same state, the actual sentence may come down to the judge’s discretion. Many first-time offenders don’t end up serving the maximum penalty. But it’s still wise to understand the range of possibilities so you can prepare.

Factors That Influence Jail Sentences

When it comes to deciding a DUI sentence, judges will consider a variety of aggravating and mitigating factors. These include:

  • Your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) – The higher your BAC, the more likely you’ll serve jail time. Most states impose mandatory sentences for first-time offenders with a BAC of .15 or higher.
  • Causing an accident – If your DUI resulted in a crash, injury or death, you’ll face significantly more jail time.
  • Prior offenses – If you have previous DUIs on your record, even in other states, the judge will consider that.
  • Your attitude – Showing remorse rather than defiance can help reduce your sentence.
  • Your criminal record – First-time offenders with no record may get more leniency.

The prosecuting attorney will also make a sentencing recommendation that influences what the judge decides. Having an experienced DUI defense attorney argue on your behalf for a lighter sentence can make a big difference.

What a Typical First Offense Sentence Looks Like

For a standard first-time misdemeanor DUI with no injuries or other aggravating factors, a typical sentence may include:

  • 2-30 days in jail – For many first offenses, the minimum 2-3 day jail stay may be all that’s required.
  • 3-12 months probation – You’ll be supervised and have to follow strict rules.
  • 9-12 month license suspension – Your license will be taken away for almost a year.
  • Fines and fees – Plan on paying $500-$1500 in fines and court fees.
  • DUI classes – Most states require alcohol education classes.
  • Ignition interlock – You may have to get a breathalyzer device installed in your car.

As you can see, even for a misdemeanor first offense, the consequences are life-altering. But it’s a lot better than the 5+ years in prison you could face for a felony DUI! Let’s look at some tips to minimize the penalties:

How to Reduce Jail Time for First DUI

While there’s no way to completely avoid jail for a DUI, the following tactics can help reduce your sentence:

  • Hire a DUI attorney – An experienced lawyer understands the complex DUI laws and sentencing guidelines and can negotiate effectively on your behalf.
  • Get evaluated for alcohol abuse – Completing an alcohol assessment and treatment program before sentencing shows the judge you’re serious about rehabilitation.
  • Express sincere remorse – Judges may be more lenient if you take full responsibility and seem genuinely committed to making changes.
  • Perform community service – Volunteering before your court date demonstrates good character.
  • Provide letters of support – Character references from family, friends and employers can sway the judge to go easier.

While I can’t guarantee these tips will keep you out of jail entirely, they can help persuade the judge to hand down a lighter sentence like 1-2 days rather than the maximum penalty. Some other options like house arrest may be available in lieu of jail time as well.

Possible Defenses to Fight a First DUI

Rather than just trying to reduce penalties, some defendants want to avoid a conviction altogether. Here are some potential legal defenses to fight a first DUI charge:

  • Invalid traffic stop – If you were pulled over without probable cause, the whole case could get thrown out due to an illegal stop.
  • Faulty breathalyzer – Errors in administering or calibrating the breath test could make the BAC results invalid.
  • Medication interaction – Some lawful meds like cough syrup can cause false positives on DUI tests.
  • Rising blood alcohol level – Your BAC may have been below the legal limit when driving but peaked later at the station.
  • Involuntary intoxication – Unknowingly ingesting an intoxicating substance could provide a defense.

An experienced DUI lawyer can help investigate the circumstances of your arrest to determine if any of these defenses might apply. While beating a DUI charge entirely is difficult, it is sometimes possible with the right legal strategy.

Get a DUI Evaluation Before Sentencing

As you can see, jail time is a very real possibility with a first DUI conviction. While the penalties seem harsh, laws are strict for good reason – to deter drunk driving and keep the roads safe. The best advice is to get an evaluation for alcohol abuse and show the judge you’re commited to treatment and making better choices going forward. An attorney can help negotiate the best deal. But your own attitude and actions will go a long way in determining how much time you ultimately serve. Don’t despair, stay positive, and focus on making wiser decisions in the future.


Free Consultation


I was searching for a law firm with some power to help me deal with a warrant in New York . After 6 days I decided to go with Spodek Law Group. It helped that This law firm is well respected by not only the top law firms in New York , but the DA , Judge as well. I...

~Fonder Brandon

5 Stars
It was my good fortune to retain Spodek Law Group for representation for my legal needs. From the beginning, communication was prompt and thorough. Todd, Kenneth and Alex were the first people I worked with and they all made me feel comfortable and confident that the team was going to work hard for me. Everything was explained and any concerns...

~A G

5 Stars
After meeting with several law firms, I chose the Spodek Law Group not only for their professionalism and experience, but for the personal attention given to me right from the initial consultation. It is important to recognize how crucial having the right legal team is when faced with potentially life altering events that impact families and the lives of loved...

~George Cherubini

Spodek Law Group

White Glove Service

We Provide Superior Service, Excellent Results, At A Level Superior To Other Criminal Defense Law Firms. Regardless Of Where Your Case Is, Nationwide, We Can Help You.
View More

Request Free Consultation

Please fill out the form below to receive a free consultation, we will respond to
your inquiry within 24-hours guaranteed.


85 Broad St 30th Floor, New York, NY 10004


get directions

Los Angeles

611 S Catalina St Suite 222, Los Angeles, CA 90005


get directions


35-37 36th St, 2nd Floor Astoria, NY 11106


get directions


195 Montague St., 14th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201


get directions
Call Now!